Chloe wondered if she should console him, though she gave up soon after, feeling that there was nothing she could do.
It would be a competent assistant like Daniel whom he needed by his side and not herself.
Which, at the same time, made her even angrier toward her mother, as it was obvious that she was desperate to get her hands on her husband’s money without any consideration of his difficult situation.
Should she go stop him now…?
Chloe covered her face and thought.
Mother had already talked to her husband yesterday.
As the Duchess was a cultured woman, she would not rush her husband within a day.
At least, she would give it a few days before she would speak of it again.
This meant that her mother would be staying here for a few more days…
Chloe made a grimace.
She could not leave her room.
It was due to her very swollen cheek, leave alone the fact that she did not want to see her mother.
This was something that should never be caught by her husband as she did not want to expose any sort of weakness to Eric.
It was not just because of aristocratic self-pride.
She wanted to be a perfect woman for Eric always.
Although it was true that she could not become that perfect woman because of her family problems, she wanted to be flawless, excluding that.
That was how Chloe herself sought to prove the legitimacy of their marriage.
It was fair for her to have this attitude as he was always one who looked for relationships that were rational.
She, therefore, wished that Eric would never discover that her relationship with mother was bad, and that she was, furthermore, being caned and slapped by her mother.
Staring into the mirror, while she saw the swollen cheek, it seemed that it would take one or two days to cool down as there was no other wound such as nail scratch marks.
Till then, she could not leave the room…
She would not leave.
Chloe resolved to herself once again.
She decided that when Andrea returned, she would send a word to Eric that she would skip breakfast.
Then, Chloe flipped to the next page of the newspaper in the meantime.
She scanned past the unimportant contents.
Chloe briefly browsed the newspaper as she speed read.
Suddenly, her gaze stopped at a particular corner.
It was because her name was mentioned.
[ Chloe Aslan, Suicide Uproar?! ]
Her hands, which were holding onto the newspaper, trembled.
Chloe quickly read through the article.
To put it together, the contents were as such—
The Aslan couple was on an airship, where she seized the chance when the marquess was not there and threatened to commit suicide, and this was caught by a reporter who was on the same airship at the right moment.
The reporter had examined Chloe with hawk eyes, but luckily she did not die, and given that she proceeded to have dinner without any problem, it seemed that her threat of suicide was merely a happening.
It could be assumed from this that Chloe Aslan was experiencing extreme emotional change, and the article concluded with making a guess that it was symptoms of depression.
Chloe breathed out dejectedly.
She had no idea there was a reporter on the airship.
And no, she had never gotten onto the deck thinking to commit suicide in the first place.
She had merely climbed onto it because she liked it and she was more than ecstatic then…!
Thinking that, she bit down hard on her lower lip.
It was always like this.
Yes, this was one of the reasons why she had left the capital… Because she felt as if she was being scrutinised wherever she was—her every action was observed by everyone and behavior was distorted and recorded down in print.
As a result, even those who have not met her before took in a skewed understanding of her actions.
Chloe recalled that this was exactly why she had gotten sick of everything and left the capital.
It was five years after that when she returned, and yet they do this again!
‘…Ah, what to do now?’
Chloe buried her face in her hands, and her shoulders trembled.
She liked the capital, for over here people did not ostracise or hate on her like in the North.
However, instead… there were too many people who smiled on the outside but wielded a pen and had their eye on her here.
Then, where do I have to go?
Where should I go, where I could lie down and be at peace.
‘That sort of place…’
…It appeared to not exist at all.
She could only arrive at such a world at death, it seemed.
She had rather she die earlier.
Death came too late.
* * *
Eric recalled that Chloe had not left her room for the past few days, and muttered.
“…I can’t see Chloe at all these days.”
“I did ask Andrea, as a matter of fact, and she said there was no problem.
She merely said that she seemed to be very tired.”
“Is that so?”
Even so, her mother was here, and yet she had not shown her face for three whole days.
Was there not a problem with that…?
Furthermore, the Duchess did not look for Chloe as well.
She seemed not to have any interest in her daughter’s whereabouts and only hung out with the other noblewomen in the capital.
If that was the case, it was a big problem.
For it was very clear that the reason of their dispute was money, which meant that it was obvious that she did not wish for and was reacting strongly against her mother taking Eric’s money.
In reality, Eric was all right with it.
The amount he was giving to the Duke of Rolphe out of his pocket was to him the same level as a drop in the ocean.
Nevertheless, Chloe was of the judgement that he was poor, and that he was wringing money out from nothing.
He had to admit that he disliked this notion awfully, although there was no sign of this misunderstanding being cleared up because she was one who was proud and obstinate and did not, could not have the idea itself that her judgment may be in fact wrong.
Whatever it was, Eric decided that he had to step in and mediate the situation if that was the reason Chloe and the Duchess had gotten into an argument.
This was naturally the role of a husband.
In addition, he had to carry out his resolution to play the part of a husband properly.
“Is the Duchess still here?”
“She is enjoying her tea time, at her leisure.”
Daniel spoke, with a sarcastic tone in his voice, but Eric ignored it.
“Then, show her to the parlor… No, no.
I will go.”
Eric was actually not at all excited about having to face the Duchess.
It was not because the Duchess talked about money whenever they met.
It was because she had that underlying disdainful attitude towards him.
Whether it was her actual intention or not-it probably was-she always looked down on him.
She would spit out phrases like ‘the likes of,’ ‘of all people’ so easily.
‘The likes of a marquess, of all people.’ She had said this before as well.
Eric was of course not at all bothered as he had heard this from many people other than the Duchess, yet the fact that she was Chloe’s mother made it extremely disagreeable with him.
It felt as if Chloe was belittling him herself whenever he heard the Duchess looking down on him.
It was a sort of inferiority complex, refractive anger that he had been having for a long time.
That was why he redirected his anger towards Chloe, as she was an easier target, and he could never blow up against the Duchess.
Regardless, Eric did not consider to that extent regarding the manner of how he expressed his emotions.
He merely dimly assumed that he was angry because Chloe was always in his way.
* * *
What brings you here, Marquess?”
The Duchess, who was leisurely drinking tea, greeted Eric.
Eric laughed softly for an answer.
At the same time, he glanced at the table and saw a teacup that he had not seen before.
A teacup from the Royal Amberwood brand.
The price of a single teacup was worth a month of salary of an average commoner.
Seeing that, he laughed even more in a low voice.
She had bought a teacup the first thing when she arrived here.
It properly revealed the vanity and impudence of the duchess.
“Nothing much, though I wanted to talk to you, Madam, after a long time.”
The Duchess lifted up her eyebrows at those words.
“Then, you should have sent a maid to let me know before you came here.
It goes against etiquette for you to barge in here like this.
Still, since I am a very understanding person, as you know, I can forgive your rudeness with a smile.
Well, take a seat.
Have some tea.
Today’s tea is rosemary.
It is very good to relax the mind and body.”
Eric wavered a moment as he heard the underlying hint of disdain again, but he eventually put on a smile like normal and sat down as the duchess had said.
He, as always, let go of the Duchess’ truly rude attitude like so.
“I will send Daniel and contact you next time onwards.
To give an excuse, I had thought that you would let it slide as we are in the same house and because we have been family for a long time.
I judged that you would have that much of a tolerance, madam.”
The Duchess answered.
“I am a very generous person.
Yes, no doubt.
I am not saying that I was offended by your actions.
I am just giving advice, for I am worried you might act the same way to people other than myself.”
“I will take in your valuable advice.”
Eric leaned his body forward after answering.
Now that the cursory greetings were gotten over with, it was time for him to reveal the real reason he had come to find the Duchess.
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